udget ’09 must be seen against the backdrop of the larger global economic crisis. We know India will continue on its growth path. The finance minister appears to have made a choice between managing fiscal deficit and optimising economic growth, and will tackle current and critical problems. While
people were optimistic following the election results, speedy institutional reform is not the mandate the UPA was elected on. I had expected the budget to concentrate on infrastructure development and agriculture, which is largely its thrust. Our country is dependent on the rural sector—there needs to be a balance between individual and corporate interests. If India is to grow, it must grow in a range of ways. The focus on achieving nine per cent growth is essential, as is R&D spending and exemptions, which are positives for the manufacturing sector.
I don’t want to be seen as criticising the finance minister. I don’t think his is a bad budget. As a businessman, I would always like to see more done to open up markets and usher in reforms....